Diced potatoes taken from microwave

Microwave Hack: How to Make Crispy Potatoes

Crispy potatoes, made from either diced potatoes or baby potatoes, make for one of the best side dishes. Not only are they delicious but they pair well with a number of dishes. While they may be pretty straightforward to make, there is one downside: They can take a long time. This is because before they can crisp up, they have to cook all the way through. To do this, you can either parboil them (before crisping them up via another cooking method) or bake them in the oven, the latter of which can take up to a full 40 minutes.

Luckily, there’s a trick to save time: Use your microwave. Yep, you can actually cook your potatoes in the microwave, then finish by crisping them up using your preferred method. Just put the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The best part about this method is that the microwave takes mere minutes. For baby or diced potatoes, start with two or three minutes in the microwave, and for whole potatoes, start with four minutes. The potatoes may need more time depending on your specific microwave wattage and the size of the potato chunks. Test if they’re done by sticking a knife into the potato; if it comes out cleanly and easily, the potato is cooked.

How to finish the dish by crisping up the potatoes

Close up of crispy potatoes

Once the potatoes have gone through the microwave, they’ll be soft and thoroughly cooked through. Now, all that’s left to do is make them nice and crispy. Whatever type of potato you use, they should be diced for the crisping step (even baby potatoes). To finish them off in the oven, the potatoes will need about 20 minutes — in other words, half of the time they would take without the microwave step.

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You can also use the stovetop to crisp up the potatoes — heat up oil in a pan over medium-high heat, then add the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired crispiness. Once you’ve quickly and successfully whipped up a batch of crispy potatoes, you’re all set to pair them with any dish of your choosing — perhaps pan-fried chicken thighs, miso-teriyaki salmon, or soft and fluffy scrambled eggs for a breakfast option.

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